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What went viral this week: A mom's genius snack hack + sweet baby doll photos
Ashley Mae Photography LLC

Can you believe it's October, mama?

There is so much going on and so much to do (need some Halloween costume inspo?) in the next few weeks that it's easy to miss all the stories making headlines across the internet. Luckily, we're here to bring you the good news stories that may have slipped through your feed faster than you could see them.

Here are the stories that made us smile this week:

This mom's viral snack hack is low-waste genius

Food waste and repeated requests for snacks are definitely two things we could do with less of, so it's no wonder one mom's genius hack for snack prep is going viral. Buffalo-based mom Sarah Hornung is the school administrator behind The Eager Teacher blog and when she posted a photo of her fridge to her Facebook page she got thousands of shares and comments from parents who love her low-effort snack solution.

When Hornung gets home from shopping she just stocks the fridge door with ready-to-eat snacks that she's cool with her kids having access to. That access means they're not asking her for snacks all the time and the veggies aren't rotting unseen in the crisper.

It's a total win-win.

"After grocery shopping I always wash and prep all of the food that is considered self-serve in our house. Self-serve for my kiddos means help yourself without asking and it's always an okay snack (any time of day, bedtime snacks, etc.) It also helps me when I'm packing lunches and snacks, or as a side dish when dinner doesn't include something they will definitely eat or if we have a busy/late night. There's something about having things truly ready to grab that makes kids eat it. I could leave the baby carrots in a bag or leave the grapes on the stems but they wouldn't eat it," she writes.

Sarah Hornung, you are a genius, mama.

We love how this hack fosters independence in the kids while getting good food into them! After all, we don't spend all that money on fruit and vegetables just to feed the compost bin.

Cop goes viral when a routine stop turns into a surprise roadside birth 

When Florida cop Robert Pounds pulled over a car going 63 miles per hour in a 45 zone he probably expected the usual excuses, but he didn't expect to see a panicked father and mama who was about to have a baby. At 4:30 in the morning Pounds pulled over a couple who were legitimately on the way to the hospital with no time to waste.

According to the Collier County Sheriff's Office, Pounds called for an ambulance but soon realized he would be delivering this baby instead of writing a ticket.

"He delivered a beautiful baby girl and made sure the mom was OK and the infant was breathing." the police department wrote on its Facebook page. Another cop showed up and snapped a photo of Pounds with the baby girl's proud (and probably relieved) dad and EMS arrived to get mama and baby to the hospital.

It was a traffic stop this Sheriff's Office Deputy will never forget.

Little boy goes viral for doing a newborn photoshoot with his doll 

We love a newborn photoshoot. Pictures of little babies all cuddled up with mom or dad or swaddled against a beautiful background make our hearts flutter, and the latest shoot to go viral is hitting us with double the cuteness. As People reports, this week a 4-year-old boy named Jynsen Fitz and his favorite baby doll, named Three, went viral. The story behind their adorable photos is super cute, too.

Jynsen's mom Ashley owns Ashley Mae Photography and newborn shoots are a big part of her business. Her son noticed and asked her to take some shots of him with Three. "This evening as I was editing, my youngest son informed me that his baby girl, named 'Three,' has not had her pictures taken," she wrote in a post that has since gone viral. "I warned him that 'Three' was slightly too old to get all of the curly newborn poses. He wanted to give it a go anyway. Little booger was wide awake the ENTIRE time 🙄 But, I still managed to get some super cute shots! ❤️"

In an interview with Today, Ashley explained that most people commenting on her pics have been supportive, but some have been critical of the fact that her son is playing with dolls, and that Three has darker skin than Jynsen does. But Jynsen has loved Three since he picked her out at the store and his mama has no time for people who shame him about that.

"I always stand up for him and I always will. I am teaching him to love no matter the color," Fitz told the outlet. "I am teaching him to stand tall when you need to … there's nothing wrong with him playing with a doll, and one day he will make a very caring and nurturing person and maybe dad if that's what he chooses to become. But I will leave that up to him."

We love it mama! Boys can be caregivers and there is nothing wrong with that.

This cheerleader jumped off a parade float to save a choking 2-year-old 👏

High school senior Tyra Winters is going viral after the cheerleader literally jumped into action and saved a child's life. As CBS DFW reports, Tyra was on a float during her school's homecoming parade when she heard someone calling for help in the crowd.

It was Nicole Hornback, and she was yelling because her 2-year-old son, Clarke, was choking on a piece of candy. It was such a surprise she almost didn't notice.

"I was sitting right next to him. I just happened to look over. There was no noise, no coughing, no breathing," she told CBS DFW.

Hornback attempted to do the Heimlich maneuver, but she had never been trained in the first aid skill. Luckily, Winters had. So the teen jumped off the parade float and grabbed Clarke out of his mama's arms.

"He was turning purple, so I immediately jumped off the float, I ran down to the kiddo, and I was like, 'I got him' and I grabbed him from the mom. I grabbed him and tilted him and I gave a good three back thrusts and he ended up spitting up," Winters told reporters.

Clarke was breathing again and his mother is eternally grateful to the high school senior who saved his life.

"She saved my baby," said Hornback. "I commend her for being a teenager and being trained."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents complete a certified first-aid course so that they can act in a situation like this. You can find classes in your community through the American Red Cross website.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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